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Feb 2: Using the Body to be Aware of the Mind March 3, 2012

Posted by Living Abundance in Uncategorized.
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When I sat down this morning my mind was very busy and noisy, but I tried my best to find my breath underneath the constant distractions. It didn’t take me too long to get concentrated on my breath and my body.

I almost dozed off for a few seconds in the middle, but most of the time I was alert and awake. I used to have a serious problem with falling asleep during meditation but not lately. My trick is to try to keep my eyes open and unfocused on the wall or floor in front of me. As soon as my eyes are closed I start to experience many visual distractions. I have a pretty vivid imagination, and when my mind is off somewhere I experience it so strongly as if I am actually there. It takes quite a bit of effort to come back to the present moment, actually feel and see my body sitting here in this chair.

My mind did go off on some pretty elaborate stories, but I was able to catch myself after not too long of a period. It was really quite amusing to see the places my mind would go. The thought when the bell went off at the end was: “What was the name of the sushi restaurant my friend goes to?” Once I noticed my mind had wandered, I tried my best to hold it all in compassion, and realized that I really didn’t decide or wish for that to happen.

It’s becoming more and more obvious how important it is to be aware of my body during sitting. Once my mind takes off on stories, my breath starts to get shorter, my body tenses and constricts. The more I am aware of my body when it is calm and relaxed, the better able I am to notice when my mind has wandered. I don’t notice it in my mind, but in my body. My body serves as the signal for where my mind has gone. Without this body awareness, it’s more likely that the thoughts would continue circling in my mind without awareness to intervene.

The silence in the middle of my sitting when my concentration was strong was absolutely delightful, I was so grateful to be able to experience it. It didn’t take long at all as soon as I stood up for the stories to continue, but the break from it was well-needed.

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